The singer-songwriter sounds like Frank Ocean and creates immersive installations that look like James Turrell’s work.
Hometown: Los Angeles
Now Lives: In a one-bedroom apartment in the 19th Arrondissement of Paris.
Claim to Fame: Sunni Colón is a singer-songwriter with a ’70s funk-meets-disco sound, and a crooning voice akin to Frank Ocean’s. In addition to producing his own music, Mr. Colón is fascinated with architecture and, in 2017, started a design agency called Tetsu to create immersive sound experiences. Recent projects include a short meditative film, “Peach on the Water,” which features humans, extraterrestrials and a glowing orb.
Big Break: A self-taught musician, Mr. Colón began uploading tracks to SoundCloud in 2013, after he quit his job as a project manager at a design and construction company, and was living out of his car in Los Angeles. In 2014, his song “Temple,” a guitar-laden slow jam, was discovered on SoundCloud by Paul Stewart, a Hollywood music supervisor, and featured in the movie “Dear White People.” “I have always hoped to score TV and film one day, so I was excited to contribute,” Mr. Colón said.
Latest Project: In October, Mr. Colón created a multisensory art installation, “Manifest 1.0,” at the Founders Lab in Brooklyn, which resembled a James Turrell installation built around a cylindrical sound booth. It featured live performances by Mr. Colón, and attendees were asked to go phone free during the performance and to limit their phone use during gallery hours. “It was a year of planning, but it was a very organic process and I learned that I want to be really hands on with everything that I do,” he said.
Mr. ColonCreditCaroline Tompkins for The New York Times
Next Thing: Mr. Colón released his first EP, “Thierry Disko,” in 2016 and is busy polishing his second album, set to be released in June. “The funny process of me making music is that I have 10 or 11 titles sitting on my computer as I record, plus a mood board of images for inspiration,” he said. The album will be a “deeply personal, mystical and psychedelic experience.”
Building Music: Mr. Colón studied civil engineering at California State University, Long Beach, which informs his music and creative process. “The science and math naturally rubs off on my work,” he said. “These ‘builders’ in my music circle are the string players, guitarist, audio engineer, co-producers.”
Correction: May 15, 2018
An earlier version of this article misstated Sunni Colón's age. He is 27, not 26.